People in Exodus Towards a Better World
Watercolour by djd
It is we who are Santa Claus.
It’s up to us to love, forgive, make peace, to create a world that is not just one day’s dream.
Let’s make 2009
a Happy New Year!
I wasn’t very good yesterday. I was in a stew, in turmoil. I could see this, observing myself, but not able to do much about it, to calm things down.
Wednesday night we could not connect to the Internet. Down under the desk, back in the corner, one little green light about 2 millimetres in diameter was not on. No connection. My husband tried the old modem to see if it was our router’s fault or not; that didn’t work either. The old modem brings up 3-5 successive windows, saying things like do you want to connect to the internet? If I say yes, because of course I do want to, it says, well, you can’t, your system is all messed up. Are you sure you want to cancel this? Etc., etc. I manage to find a message from our service provider but there is no phone number, it just says if you need to contact us, click here. OK, I can go an evening without internet, and hope things will be better the next day.
However the next day, that little green light still won’t come on. I work on other things, like a holiday greeting card, encouraging us all to build a better world of peace and love, but I am not in peace. The files navigator makes that noise I can’t stand, a sort of tsk, tsk. That I eliminate. One thing fixed. My husband found the number to call and says it is up to me to call them because he has a very long day. He is also in the throes of a mighty cold.
So I dial the number, press the buttons. One word is muffled in the messages so I don’t know whether to press 1 or 2. The machine says “we’re sorry, we didn’t understand your last entry.” That’s understandable, I didn’t make one. It plays through again and I make a choice. A real person comes on the line. She starts asking me do we have lightening protection. I say yes. She says is it on, is the light flashing? I say, it is part of our electrical installation, that is in another building and even if I were standing in front of the flashing lights, I wouldn’t know which one is for that. She says, Madame D. is any one else there? No, not right now. Madame D. do you have anyone who can help you? Her tone must be due to special training. I suppose everyone who calls them is in a state, but it makes me feel like a blithering idiot. She says she will call back at six when I think my husband will be home. Again, I am thankful we keep the sledgehammer in another building, away from the computer. Physical labor, that’s a good idea. I resist smashing things or getting smashed myself and go outside and scrape up mud, muttering all the while.
The chickens pace, wondering when will she let us out. Is it my imagination or are they thinking, look at all that scratching and she isn’t even eating the bugs. What a waste! When I do let them out, they go over each clod thoroughly before I can put it in the wheelbarrow.
I remember my husband complaining about me doing this, saying he would rather have grass. The problem with leaving the grass is next thing you know, there are trees and brambles, and it looks like no one lives here.
The person did not call back, my husband came home, re-installed the router, called the service. They unplugged and re-plugged on their end, and the little light came on.
Then we talked it all out. He said the person was overly polite with him too. I thought I had been very calm, reserved when he got home, but he felt under attack. All he wanted was to go to bed, exhausted from his cold. I told him about my ruminations, how he says if I die, the garden will go because he can’t do everything. How if he dies, there’ll be no internet here, nothing that takes batteries will run anymore and all the tires will be flat. He said there is only one solution—we will have to go together. All my frustrations dissipated. (He said the yard looks good.)
It was a mild gray morning as I drove the half an hour to a nearby town for a yoga class. I was feeling good as I had managed to get up, have breakfast, take a shower, wash my hair, do some dishes, feed the chickens and take the garbage to the dumpster. All this and I was still on time, although I parked in the closer lot which is free on Mondays. My hand stretched towards the dash where I usually put my purse–??? Nothing there. Uh oh. I glance at the passenger’s seat. Nothing there either. Not only no purse, but also no yoga pants. This happened before and I bought a pair but that is not a solution to be used very often. Maybe the garbage fooled my reflexes? Fortunately, I am wearing stretch jeans. Without the belt, they shall have to do. (I don’t like wearing my yoga clothes on the street, it feels like pajamas.) As I climb the stairs to the third-floor studio, I notice a difference—I feel very light and free. All goes well during the class and as I scamper down the stairs afterwards, again I notice the lightness. With no purse, I cannot stop anywhere for purchases so I head straight home. I am lucky in that no one asks me for any documents and I don’t sneeze nor need to read anything in fine print.
Part Two—How One Chicken Drumstick Feeds Two People
I fixed lunch with what was hanging around. First I started the whole-grain rice. Then I chopped two onions and started them cooking in a bit of olive oil. There was a fennel bulb in the refrigerator, allez, chopped and in the pan. I added about 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, halved and de-germed, and a three-fingered pinch of large grain sea salt. Two peppers from the greenhouse were finally ripe so I put them in, leaving the pieces rather large so as to be able to specifically taste them. (I have been watching them since June.) There was one leftover drumstick, I took the meat from it and chopped that, added to the skillet, put a lid on it. At the last minute, parsley chopped with the handy gadget you see here. After lunch, the jeans were just as comfortable as before lunch.
A third part which is not lucky at all and brings a somber note; my 84 year-old mother will probably be having open heart surgery next week.
“Blessed are the peacemakers.” Peace is something we have to make. I look for a recipe. Maybe in Joy of Cooking? Pawpaws, peas, peaches, peanuts, no, nothing about peace.
A seasonal song floats through my mind, “pray for peace, people everywhere.” Could it come down from above? I look up; it is raining. That can be peaceful, soothing. Can we let our rancour, our grudges, dissolve as the rain carries away the mud?
Here the rain goes down the hill to the river where fishermen have built a footbridge, a private initiative, crossing borders, both natural and man-made since it joins two departments.
Like water under the bridge, let bygones be bygones. Build bridges between us. Another song—“let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
For more entries on the theme of peace, go to Picture Perfect.
First thought—too vast, only four letters but so immense. There is life everywhere.
Second thought – When I was a freshman in college, I had a roommate who sat up at 7 in the morning and said “What is life?” I asked for a single room.
More thoughts – the Giver of Life, the Source, change. If it’s alive, it moves. Did you ever give something a poke to see if it was alive?
Here is something from my ordinary life (as usual).
This is a sourdough culture I have prepared to share with a friend. It’s bubbling, it’s alive. It can make many loaves of bread rise if it is fed and tended, given the conditions it needs.
The Bible uses the example of sourdough also, saying that we are the sourdough.
When we do good, it can spread, it can be contagious, it can change our lives. Even just a smile.
For more entries on the theme of life, go to: Picture Perfect.